Scenic USA - Washington

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state parks and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Windy Point

Windy Point

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     As the morning sun begins to warm the air over Goldendale prairie, cool air from the Columbia River Gorge rushes up through Klickitat County. At night, the reverse takes place, sending cool air back into the gorge. The Windy Point/Windy Flats Project hopes to capture this kinetic energy, providing a quarter of a million homes with wind generated power.
     Phase I, shown here, lines the ridgeline with 62 wind turbines. These huge turbine blades, trucked in one at a time for assembly, can span over 300 feet. Expecting completion in 2010, Phase II will add the largest wind generation project in the world to the grid. Covering more than 90 square miles, the Windy Point/Windy Flats Project expects to employ 150 local residents, add more than two million dollars a year to the local economy, and eliminate more than 800 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
     Lying in the rain shadow of the Cascades, Klickitat County’s lumber and timber industry has all but ceased. In this dry climate, Washington State farmers also struggle with a scant 8 to 12 inches of precipitation a year. A recent closure of an aluminum smelting plant has sent another blow to the county’s employment. This massive green project at Windy Point will give a much needed boost to the economy.



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